So you want to be married.
Maybe your partner sweet-talked you into it, maybe you’re still working on yourself while looking for ‘The One’, but one thing is clear: you know you need to set aside some money every month for the eventual wedding-related costs, because you are aware it can get pretty high.
How high is high?
How much does it cost to get married in Malaysia?
According to The Asean Post, the average wedding in Malaysia cost is around RM50,000. That includes the essentials (paperwork, HIV test, etcetera), the culturally symbolic (rings, hantaran, etcetera), the celebratory (food and drinks, venue, etcetera) and everything in between.
However, that is the average. Weddings can cost much lower and yes, much higher than RM50,000.
Based on (my own) research, most people spend between RM10,000-RM100,000 on their wedding day. Some people spend less than RM10,000 or more than RM100,000, but they are a relatively small group.
If you put it visually as a distribution curve, it looks something like this:
How much you need to save every month
Here is how much you need to save up every month for weddings that cost between RM10,000-RM100,000, in 1 to 3 years timeframe. All numbers are taken from the MyASNB app, via the Target Labur feature.
|Wedding cost||How much you need to save per month if 12 months||How much you need to save per month if 24 months||How much you need to save per month if 36 months|
Note: RM50,000 is highlighted because:
- it’s the average cost of a wedding in Malaysia, and
- even if you don’t reach this amount, you can still have a decent wedding at a lower price point.
If you personally think this is too much to spend on a wedding in Malaysia and you want a lower , then use the money for post-wedding expenses, like honeymoon or towards your first home together. Better to have saved more money than you need than less.
Some of you with sharp eyes might notice that the longer the duration, the less you need to save per month to reach the amount. For example,
- It takes RM1,333 per month for 36 months to save up to RM50,000
- However, RM1,333 times 36 is only RM47,988, not RM50,000
Gain extra money while you save money
Where did the extra RM2,012 come from, you ask? That’s ‘free money’, thanks to compounding and profit rate of 4.15%*. In other words, if you only used a bank account (with zero or almost-zero profit rate) to save the same amount of money, you’ll need another 1.5 months more to reach RM50,000
*Expected return of 4.15% per annum used as a guide; actual returns will vary
Tip: You can reach your target amount faster by adding initial investment in the beginning. For example, if RM50,000 is your goal and you started off the wedding fund with RM15,000 initial capital, then you only need to set aside RM881 monthly for the next 3 years.
How to use the Target Labur feature
Step 1: Download ASNB app
If you’re a new myASNB user, follow these steps to sign up:
- Step 1: Download the myASNB app. It is available on Android, iOS, and Huawei.
- Step 2: Click on Sign Up
- Step 3: Enter in your personal details
- Step 4: Upload your IC
- Step 5: Finalise account information
- Done! The whole process only takes minutes
You can read more about the online account opening process here.
Tip: MyASNB app insists on strong passwords, so use a password manager to generate yours. I use Bitwarden, which is a password manager with built-in password generator
Step 2: Click on Target Labur
You can find the icon in the main dashboard of the app.
Step 3: Select your goal
You can use Target Labur to plan many financial goals. In this case, we are planning your wedding budget, but you can also save up for retirement or your emergency fund with MyASNB.
Step 4: Enter variables
The variables needed are:
- Goal amount
- Goal dateline
- Initial investment (if any)
- Return expectations (go ahead and pick 4.15%; the number is suggested based on historical funds’ performance)
When you’re done, select Next
Step 5: Find out monthly amount to set aside to reach your goal
Don’t be too intimidated by the amount, it’s nothing that other people haven’t achieved before.
The good thing is, if with this challenge you become someone who is able to earn and save more, then all the better for your married life. You need the same set of skills to cover future expenses, like the cost of your child’s birth, house downpayment, family trips and more.
Where to find the money to fund your wedding in Malaysia
Now that you know how much to set aside every month for your wedding, the question now is where to find the money to fund your wedding.
Well, I asked the exact question to netizens on Twitter. You can look through how real people fund their weddings – go through the replies and QTs of the tweet below:
You can see from the replies that most people fund their weddings via a combination of:
- Own savings
- Earned extra income
- Lived extra frugally
- Parents helped to pay (it’s cool if they do, but never feel entitled to it if not offered)
- Took a loan (worth noting – all of them said it was a burden and they don’t recommend it)
There are also other strategies shared to lower the cost of weddings, such as:
- Negotiation tips with the parents
- Holding joint wedding with a sibling
- And more
Final tip: Set aside 10-20% buffer that’s not included in the wedding budget
Truth is, a wedding in Malaysia is an event, and any event needs contingencies to cover unexpected expenses (say the tailor botched the dress the week before and you need a new one ASAP, for example).
Therefore, it is a good idea to allocate 10-20% more that is NOT part of the wedding budget, in case of emergencies.
For this, I’d recommend setting up a secondary Target Labur fund, for Emergency Fund. You can set up multiple goals in the same app, super convenient.
That is all. All the best if you are planning your wedding in Malaysia, and hope you have the strength in you to organise a wedding within your means, and resist the temptation of taking up loans, even if your own parents present them to you as a solution (a story for another day).